Let's Talk About Clay Masks
Whether you're a novice to skin care or have a dedicated routine, most people are familiar with some form of clay masking for your skin and/or hair. But do they actually work? What's the benefit of using them? We're gonna explore that together today.
The basic make up of a clay mask would be inclusive of 1-2 various dry clays and a hydrate of choice (water, apple cider vinegar, witch hazel, etc.). For a more advanced mask, many prefer an emulsified formula of a lotion-like base, dry clays, and various dry extracts for differing skin benefits.
The use of clay masks have ties dating back centuries. Clays have been used in healing rituals, cooking, baking, and more! In modernized skin care application, clay masks have often been deemed a luxury step in a skin care routine. Due to the exfoliating, cleansing, and detoxifying nature of various natural clays, using clay masks is recommended for all skin types. How you use them will differ! A mask formulated for oily, acne prone skin may not work for sensitive, dry skin.
Rose clay (pink tinted kaolin clay)
French Green Sea clay
Moroccan clay (red sea clay)
Bentonite clay (often sold as Aztec Healing clay) is great for exfoliating acne prone, oily skin. Typically mixed with apple cider vinegar, this clay draws out excess oils, sebum, dirt and other skin irritants to aid in the clearing of active acne breakouts. For natural hair (Type 4 specifically), this same mixture does wonders to detoxify your hair shaft and scalp and brings life to your curls, especially after prolonged use of heavy products (see: hair gels, mousse, curling puddings)
Even with all it's benefits, bentonite clay can actually harm dry, sensitive skin types if applied with ACV (Apple cider vinegar). Changing the hydrate will not only protect your skin and it's moisture barrier, but also increase the benefits of the clay in regard to your skin. Cucumber hydrosol is an ingredient that can replace ACV in your mask making that will perform the same benefits without stripping your skin in the process. Other hydrosols I'd recommend: rose water, lavender water, chamomile water, distilled water, aloe vera juice.